With the Town of
Chesterton and Superior Ambulance Service within 60 days of parting
ways--after the Town Council at its last meeting refused to subsidize
Superior to the tune of $150,000, to be paid immediately--the Chesterton
Fire Department is now proposing to establish its own advanced life support
(ALS) ambulance service.
Jim Ton, R-1st, left the door open to that move when he suggested, at the
council’s last meeting, that the “tribute” demanded by Superior might be
used for a “conversion” to ALS.
With that in mind,
Fire Chief John Jarka submitted a proposal to the council at its meeting
Monday night. The proposal’s key component: a rotation of part-time
paramedics, in conjunction with the CFD’s own EMTs, would be used to staff
Jarka noted in his
proposal that the paramedics’ part-time pay rate of $18 per hour is not
included in the town’s 2020 budget, but that anticipated revenues--which, he
said, never fell below $200,000 in the five full years collected by
Superior--would be more than sufficient to cover the cost of the
part-timers, estimated at $60,000 annually.
however, would require a few other things:
--A contract with a
--An ordinance to
set a fee schedule.
--A memorandum of
understanding with a back-up ambulance provider.
--And an upfront
capital investment of approximately $50,000 for a Lifepak monitor and chest
Members were not
prepared on Monday to press forward, though. For one thing, Member Nate
Cobbs, R-4th, wanted to know whether Porter Regional Hospital might be
willing to place a crew at the CFD station.
that Porter Regional Hospital would charge the town a fee for that service.
Ton asked Jarka
what sort of a fee that might be, and Jarka replied that he hadn’t gotten
that far in his talks with the hospital and in any case a Porter Regional
Hospital crew, even headquartered at the CFD station, would not serve the
In the end, members
opted to take the proposal under advisement. “It’s a lot to digest and a lot
to think about,” Ton said. “I like the idea of taking it under advisement.
Passing this in one hearing is not a move I’d be willing to do.”
In other business,
members voted unanimously to authorize the expenditure of $15,000 in CEDIT
funds for the purchase of digital radio consoles for the consolidated
Chesterton and Porter PD dispatch center, to replace the analogue consoles
which have proved less than adequate in dispatching over the newly installed
digital radio frequency.
The new consoles
will remedy the sometimes broken communications when dispatchers are
speaking to officers in the field, Cincoski said.
Members also voted
unanimously to declare as surplus the CPD’s K-9 unit, Maverick, who will be
sold to his handler, Erik Palleson, for $990. Palleson has accepted a
position with the Valparaiso PD, which has no interest in purchasing
Maverick from the CPD.
will review a petition for the vacation of a public right-of-way, submitted
by Trap Masters Plumbing, 1720 Wood St.
The right-of-way in
question is a platted but undeveloped alley on the east side of the